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Conference Information

Full Title: The Question of Borders

Location: Balamand, Al-Kurah, Lebanon
Start Date: 23-Nov-2017 - 25-Nov-2017
Contact: Maria Nasr
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: The Question of Borders: Among the Resident, the Passer-by and the Intermediary

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Balamand (Al-Kurah, Lebanon) is organizing an international, multi-disciplinary and tri-lingual (Arabic, French, English) conference on the question of “borders” in today’s world. The conference will be held from 23 to 25 November 2017.

The word ''border'' (limit, boundary, frontier etc…) carries several overlapping and yet contrastable meanings and connotations. Any scholarly study of this subject needs to be a multidisciplinary one, drawing on several disciplines within the field of humanities. Such a study would address and examine the contexts and conditions of border-related phenomena, such as separation, delineation and determination, arbitration, as well as crossing from one space to another—be it geographical, natural, symbolic, legal, linguistic—or between different genres of discourse, whether philosophical, literary, artistic, cultural, interpretive, political, religious, economic, psychological, educational, or any other type of discourse. Therefore, the issue at hand is a broad and complex one that begs many questions, including the origin of borders, the conditions that gave rise to their existence, their evolution, uniformity and variability, transformation, their operation systems and those who operate them, as well as border legitimacy—all issues that deserve to be discussed at a multi-disciplinary conference open to multiple examination methods and different approaches.

It can be argued that a “border” is meant “to set apart” two spaces of different nature, or two domains with dissimilar values and dimensions. In this context, we can speak of two inseparable matters: 1) the segregation of two spaces, in order to distinguish them from one other 2) the determination of limit that can be reached within a given space, or that prevents one from passing through to the other space. Thus, “border” stands as a symbolic representation of what is possible and admissible, prohibited and permissible, as well as of specification and differentiation, boundaries and their transgression, limits and limit-breaking, desire and legal constraints, and all these aspects taken together.

A wide array, these meanings of “border” have themselves multiple connotations that point to separation, hierarchy, elimination, distinctness, imposition, settlement, and other related matters; they are also related to customs, traditions, laws and regulations governing various transactions, discourses, and forms of conduct.
Linguistic Subfield: Discourse Analysis; Ling & Literature
LL Issue: 27.4709

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